August 18, 2022

British Gasoline proprietor Centrica immediately introduced its income had risen 5 fold to £1.34billion – because it was revealed UK family power payments might rocket to £500 a month amid Russian threats to chop Europe’s fuel provides. 

The bumper working revenue for the six months to the tip of June compares to the £262m recorded in the identical interval final yr. 

Centrica, which produces power in addition to promoting it to households and companies, introduced it will restart its dividend at 1p per share after suspending it for 3 years. 

Group chief government Chris O’Shea defended the transfer, saying the cash would assist pensions whose revenue depends on dividends. He insisted the revenue soar was not pushed by the patron enterprise. 

“The supply of our income just isn’t clients’ rising power payments’, he mentioned – including that income at British Gasoline had fallen to £98m, down 43 per cent in contrast with earlier than the power disaster a yr in the past.

British Gasoline added greater than 200,000 clients within the first half of the yr amid an power disaster that’s destroying lots of its rivals, together with failed provider Collectively Power. 

It got here as projections steered the typical family might face a invoice of £500 for power in January 2023, with a prediction of an annual worth cap of £3,850.

Wholesale fuel costs surged yesterday after Vladimir Putin’s regime halved provides to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, in what Germany condemned as a ‘duplicitous recreation’.

The transfer pushed up the value of fuel throughout Europe, with many nations drawing up contingency plans to chop fuel and electrical energy use by 15 per cent with a view to preserve provides and defend households via the winter.

These embody turning off road lights, not heating public swimming swimming pools and shutting down manufacturing at some main producers, nevertheless extra drastic measures could also be obligatory.

Germany and different European nations are racing to purchase consignments of liquefied pure fuel (LNG) by way of container from the USA, Africa and the Center East, nevertheless that is pushing up costs and will likely be inadequate to fill the hole left by Russia.

Wholesale fuel costs surged yesterday after Vladimir Putin’s regime halved provides to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline

Many countries are drawing up contingency plans to cut gas and electricity to conserve supplies and protect families through the winter. Pictured: A file image

Many nations are drawing up contingency plans to chop fuel and electrical energy to preserve provides and defend households via the winter. Pictured: A file picture

Contingency plans being drawn up by many nations include saving gas by no longer heating public swimming pools and turning off street lights

Contingency plans being drawn up by many countries embody saving fuel by not heating public swimming swimming pools and turning off road lights

There are concerns about the UK’s ability to generate enough electricity to keep the lights on this winter. Pictured: A no street light warning in Yorkshire

There are considerations in regards to the UK’s skill to generate sufficient electrical energy to maintain the lights on this winter. Pictured: A no road gentle warning in Yorkshire

Huge North Sea fuel storage web site ‘might reopen in time for winter’  

Centrica mentioned it’s bodily attainable for its Tough fuel storage web site off England’s east coast to be open this winter.

Centrica is in discussions with the federal government and is finishing up the required engineering work to allow the location to reopen, CEO Chris O’Shea informed journalists immediately on a name in regards to the firm’s interim outcomes.

The positioning, which closed in 2018, beforehand supplied about 70% of Britain’s fuel storage capability.

Any improve within the wholesale price of fuel is pushed via to electrical energy as it’s used as gas in round 40 per cent of UK energy stations.

Individually, there are considerations in regards to the UK’s skill to generate sufficient electrical energy to maintain the lights on this winter, with the hole between most provide and most demand mentioned to be ‘tight’. 

The Electrical energy System Operator has indicated the scenario could possibly be notably tough within the first half of December.

The present worth cap on power tariffs is because of rise from slightly below the equal of £2,000 a yr – primarily based on typical use – in October and once more in January. 

Preliminary estimates steered it will attain round £3,400 within the New 12 months.

Nevertheless, evaluation by power business specialists at consultants BFY suggests the brand new improve in wholesale costs might see the determine hit the equal of £3,420 in October and £3,850 in January.

Provided that power use is heavy in January as individuals maintain the central heating and lights on for longer, the invoice for that month alone might doubtlessly prime £500.

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Wholesale fuel costs rose to all-time highs of 530p per therm for the approaching winter on Wednesday morning.

EU costs are at near-record ranges amid fears Russia might quickly flip off the fuel faucet utterly, with leaders already discussing power rationing

Russia has reduced flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipe which goes to Germany to just 20 per cent capacity, sparking panic

Russia has decreased flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipe which fits to Germany to only 20 per cent capability, sparking panic 

Wooden-burning plant in eco-probe 

A controversial wood-burning energy station faces a ‘greenwashing’ probe for claiming to be a supply of renewable power regardless of incinerating thousands and thousands of bushes a yr, it emerged yesterday. The Drax energy plant in Selby, North Yorkshire, produces round 6 per cent of the UK’s electrical energy and is classed as a supply of renewable energy, permitting it to say £900million a yr in public subsidies. 

However the Organisation for Financial Co-Operation and Improvement (OECD) discovered yesterday there’s a criticism to reply introduced by environmental attorneys claiming that Drax is deceptive customers by portraying itself as a supply of inexperienced power.

The inquiry will assess whether or not Drax can legitimately declare this when it burns thousands and thousands of bushes a yr. Drax claims burning wooden is renewable as a result of bushes regrow.

The declare will likely be assessed by a authorities physique, the UK Nationwide Contact Level for the OECD. A Drax spokesman mentioned: ‘We’re partaking with the NCP on subsequent steps.’ 

Moscow has blamed upkeep points, however the Nord Stream transfer is extensively seen as Moscow ‘weaponising’ fuel and intentionally limiting European provides in retaliation for western sanctions. 

There are fears that Russia might minimize off provides completely.

Gemma Berwick, senior advisor at BFY, warned that ‘any additional drops in flows will trigger additional worth improve’.

Whereas Britain has usually obtained solely 4 per cent of its fuel from Russia, it’s linked by pipelines to Europe and can be reliant on securing LNG cargos, which means costs within the UK are carefully correlated with these on the continent.

Earlier this week, MPs on the enterprise choose committee demanded pressing motion to enhance the assistance provided to thousands and thousands dealing with punishing power payments this winter.

The Authorities has introduced assist for households, starting from £400 to as much as £1,200, however the MPs mentioned this did not take account of the rises coming this winter. 

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Committee chairman Darren Jones mentioned: ‘As soon as once more, the power disaster is racing forward of the Authorities.

‘To stop thousands and thousands from dropping into unmanageable debt, it’s crucial that the assist package deal is up to date and applied earlier than October, when the squeeze will turn out to be a full-on throttling of family funds and additional tip the economic system in the direction of recession.’

Britain might come near working out of electrical energy this winter, specialists warn 

Britain might come near working out of electrical energy this winter, specialists warned yesterday.

A report by the Electrical energy System Operator (ESO), the physique tasked with balancing the Nationwide Grid, says there could possibly be ‘tight intervals’ in December – however believes it ought to be capable of maintain the lights on.

The grid must ensure that it has sufficient mills able to go when demand for electrical energy peaks. 

If the margin falls beneath sure ranges, the ESO will ship out an Electrical energy Margin Discover (EMN). 

This lets mills know that extra electrical energy is required.

The ESO mentioned: ‘We might have to make use of our customary operational instruments to handle these intervals ought to they happen which, for instance, might imply issuing EMNs.

‘We anticipate there to be ample out there capability to reply to these market alerts to satisfy shopper demand.’ 

Within the report, it notes that Britain just isn’t as reliant on Russian fuel as different nations in Europe. 

However ‘it’s clear that the cessation of flows of fuel into Europe might have knock-on impacts, together with very excessive costs’.

The ESO has labored with the Authorities to make sure that 4 coal energy stations are prepared to make use of in the event that they have to be known as on this winter – and they’re engaged on a fifth. Additionally it is ‘exploring choices’ to incentivise power customers to cut back their use throughout peak instances.

Russian flows of fuel to Europe have been decreased because the nation launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February. 

A lot of the UK’s electrical energy comes from fuel, so any severe hit to fuel provides might impression the supply of electrical energy.